Apparently I missed a whole lot of drama on Goodreads lately. I just got wind of it this morning and have been trying to put the pieces together. If by some crazy chance you haven't read about this episode of author vs. blogger, you can find a good recap here.
I have to come down on the side of bloggers here -- but hear me out. I think that we all need to remember that we are all just people whether we are readers/bloggers or authors or agents or complete non-readers. We are all just people. We have feelings and we can get our feelings hurt. Therefore, we should try to keep things civil. That does not mean that we have to sugar-coat our opinions. We are all entitled to our own opinons.
Once a book is complete and is published - whether print or e-book, it is out there and you can't pull it back and try to fix or justify. Books must stand on their own. If the book can't stand on its own, maybe the author should take the criticism with grace and just keep writing. Not everyone will love every book. Even a bad review will bring the book to someone's attention.
This whole situation makes me think Amanda at Dead White Guys has the right idea. Maybe reading literary works by dead white guys is the better choice. Maybe. I read a lot of those in college and I do like to read contemporary literature, so I'm still undecided.